What You Need to Know Before Installing a Solar Roof
As solar power systems drop in price, more building owners are considering a new income stream: sunlight. Solar roof leasing allows property owners to lease their roof to utility companies and project developers in exchange for lower utility costs. If your company or government agency is considering installing a solar power system, here’s what you need to know.
What is Solar Roof Leasing?
In traditional solar roof leasing (also called solar power purchase agreements), utility companies rented roof space from homes and businesses – but the owner was responsible for the installation and maintenance costs, making them too expensive for most properties.
Now the upfront cost and risk in solar leasing is negated because a third-party solar financing company pays for the installation and maintenance. The property owner then pays the financing company monthly installments for the lease period – usually 15-20 years. When the lease is up, you can extend the lease, purchase the equipment or have them remove the panels. The benefit? You get the reduced utility rates without the headache of ownership.
How It Makes You Money
Commercial properties with a large expanse of roof, like warehouses and distribution centers, are a natural for solar power systems, but they can be used on any roof that meets the criteria.

When building owners calculate a building’s net leasable space, rooftops are not generally included in the calculation. The solar lease can increase the net leasable footage. In one case, a building’s leasable space went from 500,000 to 1,000,000 square feet, effectively doubling the income potential.

What You Should Look for in a Roofer
Installing a solar power system is best handled by an experienced commercial roofing company. When interviewing candidates, ask the following:

  • How much experience do they have retrofitting the solar power system to existing roofs?
  • Is their roofing system waterproof?
  • How quickly and easily can the solar roof can be installed?
  • Does their roofing material meet building and earthquake codes?
  • What is the price of their stanchions, and how are they installed?
  • Do their solar panels and roofing systems have similar warranties?

To find out if solar leasing is available in your area, and right for your company, contact Highland Commercial Roofing at 1-866-880-5252 or info@highlandroof.com